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The manager of a Burntwood charity shop is calling on volunteers to give up their time to help it bounce back from the coronavirus lockdown.

Mind said its 160 charity shops across England and Wales have raised £1.5million in the first month since reopening their doors to customers.

But as well as thanking customers for their support and donations of items, the charity said it urgently needed help to sort, price and sell the items handed over by residents.

Shelley Busby, manager at the Burntwood Mind shop, said:

“Since the first lockdown we’ve had lots of generous donations, but we desperately need more volunteers to help us sort through them all.

“Before the pandemic, we had 12 volunteers, but only two have returned since we opened back up in April. 

“If you want to make new friends in the community or develop your confidence and communication skills, then volunteering at our shop is the perfect place to do that.

“Many of our volunteers have come on leaps and bounds in terms of their self-confidence, and talk about how much Mind has helped them.

“Others have developed skills and gained experience in the retail sector which has helped them to find employment.

“So, if you’re looking for a way to get back into work, volunteering is a great place to start.” 

Shelley Busby

Despite enjoying a record month since reopening, Mind said it had a predicted £13million loss of retail income since the first lockdown.

Andrew Vale, managing director of Mind Retail, said:

“This record-breaking month is testament to the tireless efforts of our dedicated volunteers and staff, as well as our generous donors and customers.

“Raising £1.5million in a month is incredible and much-needed to make up for the losses incurred by forced shop closures throughout the pandemic.

“Our wonderful staff and volunteers are doing incredible things – but they could do so much more with extra hands and donations.

“Due to the challenges of the pandemic, many volunteers have been unable to return, leaving shops struggling to cope.

“Volunteering doesn’t need to be a big time-consuming commitment. Even just an hour a week could make a huge difference.”

Andrew Vale

For more details on volunteering, visit the Mind website.

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